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González goal saves the day for Standard

R. Standard de Liège1-1 FC Zürich
Admir Mehmedi's strike had seemingly earned Zürich an away win but Nacho González came off the bench to score a 90th-minute equaliser.

Mathieu Beda (right) holds on Standard's Aloys Nong during their 1-1 draw in Liege
Mathieu Beda (right) holds on Standard's Aloys Nong during their 1-1 draw in Liege ©Getty Images

Nacho González scored within six minutes of coming off the bench to save R. Standard de Liège from defeat in their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round opener against FC Zürich.

A home loss would have been hard on the Belgian outfit, who found it difficult to penetrate a Zürich side content to defend for long periods. Yet it was Urs Fischer's men who looked set to establish a first-leg advantage when Admir Mehmedi volleyed in with 12 minutes left. With time running out, however, González headed a last-gasp equaliser which leaves the tie finely poised for the return next Wednesday.

Standard's first effort of note came via Pape Camara, who flashed a shot wide after 18 minutes. If that was a sighter, Les Rouges would have found their range on the half-hour mark but for Johnny Leoni. Sébastien Pocognoli delivered a corner and captain Jelle Van Damme powered in a header which the Zürich goalkeeper pushed on to a post.

Eight minutes into the second half, Zürich‘s Philippe Koch was in the right place to clear Aloys Nong's effort off the goal line after the Standard striker had beaten Leoni with a lob. Having come perilously close to falling behind, Zürich shocked the Stade Maurice Dufrasne after 78 minutes, Mehmedi − a star of the Switzerland squad which reached last month's UEFA European Under-21 Championship final − turning in Ricardo Rodriguez's delivery.

It was Standard, group stage participants in 2009/10 along with Zürich, who had the final say, however, as González headed in a free-kick from Leye Mbaye.